- Spanish soldiers establish the first permanent
Spanish settlement at St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United
States. Destroyed and rebuilt many times, the city becomes the key to
Spain's hold on the Florida coast as Spaniards fight the French and
British for control of the New World.
- Pedro Menendez de Aviles and Brother Francisco Villareal are
the first Europeans to set foot in what is now Miami. They come to
build a Jesuit mission in lands heavily populated by Tequestan Indians.
- Spanish in Pensacola Bay area.
Alonso Alvarez de Pineda likely passes by Pensacola Bay in his first
circumnavigation of the Gulf of Mexico.
1528: Members of the expedition of Pánfilo de
pass Pensacola Bay in barges on their voyage westward toward New Spain,
including the famous survivor and later chronicler of the expedition
Alvar Núnez Cabeza de Vaca.
1693: Andrés de Pez explores and charts Pensacola Bay in
anticipation of its planned settlement.
1698-1719: Andrés de Arriola establishes the second formal
Spanish settlement on Pensacola Bay, a presidio named Santa
María de Galve. The Veracruz-based settlement
despite severe hostility from English-allied Indian slave raiders,
until French forces from nearby Mobile capture Santa María
1719 during the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
1756-1763: The fourth and final Spanish settlement on Pensacola Bay,
ultimately known as San Miguel de Panzacola, is formally designated a
presidio in 1756, fifteen years after a small warehouse and brick oven
had been placed there in 1741, and two years after the first military
families were granted authorization to relocate there in
The fort and village survive until the 1763 transfer of Florida to
Britain after the Seven Years War, after which Spanish residents and
their Catholic Indian neighbors evacuate to Veracruz.
Listed below are a sample
of works which discuss lesser known historical
aspects of Hispanic influence on our area:
* Caughey, John. "The Panis Mission to Pensacola, 1778." Hispanic
American Historical Review, 10 (November 1930), pp. 480-489.
----. "Bernardo de Gálvez and the English Smugglers on the
Mississippi." Hispanic American Historical Review, 12 (February 1932),
"The Natchez Rebellion of 1781 and Its Aftermath." Louisiana Historical
Quarterly, 16 (January 1933), pp. 57-83.
* -----. "Diary of the Operations Against Pensacola." Translated by
Gaspar de Cusachs. Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 1 (January 1917),
* Gold, Robert L. "Governor Bernardo de
Gálvez and Spanish Espionage in Pensacola, 1777." In John F.
editor, The Spanish in the Mississippi
University of Illinois Press, 1974), pp. 87-99.
Lawson, Katherine S. "Luciana de Herrera, Spanish Spy in British St.
Augustine." Florida Historical Quarterly, 23 (January 1945), pp.
The Spanish Land Grants were land claims
filed by settlers in Florida after the transfer
of the territory from Spain to the United States in 1821 in order to
prove land ownership.
Starting in 1790, Spain offered land grants
settlement to the sparsely populated and vulnerable Florida colony.
When the United States assumed control of Florida, it agreed to honor
any valid land
grants. Yet residents had to prove that validity through documentation
testimonials. Therefore, these records were the dossiers filed by
the U.S. government. They
were either confirmed
(found to be valid) or unconfirmed (found invalid) by the US government through
federal courts, or by the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, many of the
West Florida are missing. Read more at FloridaMemory.com
The Old Spanish Trail.
Conceived in 1915 as the shortest route
Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Old Spanish Trail (OST) connecting St.
Augustine, Florida and San Diego, California, took nearly fifteen years
to construct at a cost of more than $80,000.000. The Old
Trail in Florida, generally follows old US 90 and spans 455 miles.
Beginning in St. Augustine, the trail traverses a diverse landscape,
cutting across the Panhandle and ending in Pensacola. (Click
the heritage/culture section to read about how the City of
Crestview celebrates the Old Spanish Trail.)
narrative travelogs for each state along the Old Spanish Trail. Since most history is local, they need your help
identifying stories about the small towns, gas stations, motels, bridges, and points of interest along the Trail
-- send them your news! at the above web address.
Town of Ponce de Leon, Florida
Leon is a small town in the Northwest Florida
panhandle near the Alabama
line. Some folks
think the Spanish
explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, may have searched for the Fountain of
Youth here. Ponce
de Leon Springs, named after Florida's
discoverer, produces millions of gallons of 68-degree crystal clear
is the centerpiece of a 443-acre state park, which features a nature
picnic area as well. This
rural town is
also home to two other natural springs, Vortex and Morrison, which
scuba and skin divers, swimmers, campers, and other visitors from afar.
Community of Ebor City, Florida.
Vicente Martinez Ybor, born in 1818,
was a major
figure in the founding and development of Ybor City. He participated in
negotiations with the Tampa Board of Trade in 1885 and led efforts to
purchase land adjacent to Tampa for the cigar industry and its
accompanying community. In addition to building his factory, Ybor
created a system for the workers to buy their houses. He built the
first hotel in Ybor City, El Pasaje. He organized the Ybor Land
Improvement Company, which encouraged entrepreneurs to establish
businesses in Ybor City. The company invested in the Florida Brewing
Company and the Tampa Gas Company, provided more than $250,000 to grade
streets, erect streetlights and enforce sanitary measures. Vicente
Martinez Ybor died in 1896. His Great Floridian plaque is located at
the Ybor City State Museum, 1818 East 9th Avenue, Tampa.
Block Museum Educational Services. Baker, FL. (850) 537-5714